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Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 


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Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing 

the Coil 

Written By: Sean Michael Ragan 


• Soldering/desoldering tools (1) 

• Vised) 

• X-Acto Knife, a.k.a. hobby knife (1) 

• hand electric drill (1) 


Heat Shrink tubing (12 cm) 

or to suit your cable/connectors 

see Part 1 


See Part 1 of this guide here . Thanks to Bart Patrzalek for the tip, and Brian Adams for the 
instructive How It's Made video segment . 

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Page 1 of 6 

Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 

• First, here's what the cord looked 
like after our initial curling 
operation. This is the same cord, 
BTW, that I made when I first wrote 
about this trick three years ago , 
and it has held its coil quite well in 
the intervening time in spite of 
regular use. 

• You can see that the coil in the 
cord, in this state, follows the right 
hand rule . Also, I count 19 loops. 

• Though the initial thermal coil-setting step in this process can be completed with the 
connectors in place, the coil reversing process pretty much requires that they be removed. 
In the case of my 1/4" mono phono plugs, this means unscrewing the ferrule, slitting and 
removing the heat shrink tubing, and desoldering each of two wires from the connector at 
each end of the cable. 

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Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 

• Clamp one end of the cord in a vise or other secure, stationary mount. 

• Chuck the other end of the cord into your electric drill, just like you would a large diameter 
drill bit. Crank the chuck down hard and really bite into the cable. If you damage it, worst 
case is you have to cut off 3/4", or so, and strip a bit of wire. 

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Page 3 of 6 

Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 

Make sure your drill is set to twist in the direction that is opposite the coil already set in 
the cord. 

Stand back far enough to get some tension in the coil. In the picture, the cord is more 
slack than I think is ideal, but I wanted to be able to get the whole thing in-frame for the 

Take a deep breath, pull the trigger, and have fun. Don't stop until the coil has reversed all 
the way along the cord's length. 

The cord may tangle up a bit, as you do this. Don't worry, it will still work, though it 
may take a few minutes of fiddling to get the tangles undone when it's over. 

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Page 4 of 6 

Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 

• Assuming you're working with 1/4" phono plugs, like I was, the first thing to do is slip 6cm 
or so, of 6mm diameter heat shrink tubing over each end of the cord. Be sure to do this 
before you solder both connectors back on. 

• Resolder the connections. If your connectors include cable clamps, reseat them using 
small pliers. 

• Slide the heat shrink tubing over the freshly soldered connections and shrink it in place 
over a lighter or candle flame. 

• Screw the ferrules back onto the plugs, and you're done! 

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Page 5 of 6 

Cord Curling Part 2 - Reversing the Coil 

• Here's the cord after reversing the 
coil. As you can see, it now follows 
a left-hand rule and, interestingly, 
seems to have two more turns (I 
count 21) than before. 

There's no doubt in my mind that the reversed coil is considerably tighter than the starting coil. 
What I should've done, in retrospect, is take before and after photos showing the cord hanging 
freely in space. This would clearly have demonstrated that the "after" coil is noticeably tighter, 
because it doesn't stretch nearly as far when hanging freely. Alas, I didn't get the necessary 
"before" photo, so you'll have to take my word for it. But if you do decide to try this for yourself 
don't repeat my mistake: get that shot! And then share it with the rest of us! Please! 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -02 04:51 :04 AM. 

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